On toast, in a salad, in your hair. There’s a reason they’re called avoca-dos rather than avoca-don’ts. They’re so stinkin’ magical, they make guac cost extra. You’ve heard avocados clock in as a superfood, but what does their creamy deliciousness actually have to offer health-wise? Hold on tight, it’s gonna be a buttery-smooth ride.
The Proof Is In The Pulp
Avocados actually contain the highest amount of fiber per serving of any fruit, with one ‘cado boasting anywhere between 9 and 11 grams, depending on its size. To put that into perspective, adults should aim to consume 25-30 grams of fiber each day.
Avocados contain omega-3s and other beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats are used to maintain the structure of cells for healthy skin, arteries and all other tissues in your body. These fats have also been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
As a whole, B-vitamins are necessary for use as coenzymes in the mechanism that allows your body to convert carbs, fats and protein into energy that your cells can use. One avocado contains almost half of the daily value for pantothenic acid (B5) and a quarter of the daily value for B6, which are both especially important in this process. Your lack of these Bs could be why you’re feeling groggy, even if your nutrition and sleep are up to par.
Niacin (B3) works as a coenzyme for nearly 200 reactions that occur in your body, and an avocado provides roughly 20% of your recommended daily intake.
Plus, the 30% DV of folate (B9) that an avocado contains is essential for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to prevent neural tube defects.
Avocados are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins K and E. Vitamin K is important for proper blood clotting, and an avocado can get you over 1/3 of your recommended intake. Vitamin E is a cell membrane antioxidant; eat an avo for over 20% of a day’s worth. Plus, the high fat content of avocados help you to absorb these nutrients, which otherwise would just pass through your system without getting taken up by your body.
Water-soluble vitamin C works to do a whole range of things from collagen synthesis to immune system function. Believe it or not, an avocado will get you 1/3 of your vitamin C for the day.
You need copper to properly utilize iron to prevent anemia and synthesize collagen, and an avocado provides you with nearly 20% of your required daily intake. Copper and Vitamin C’s combined effects on collagen production is why avocado face and hair masks are all the rage. Plus the nourishing oils, of course.
Magnesium is an important component of bones and is used as a coenzyme (much like B-vitamins). It’s essential for proper nerve impulses as well as proper calcium utilization. Eat an avocado and get over 10% of the Mg you need for the day.
Potassium works as an electrolyte to keep your body adequately hydrated and maintain a healthy blood pressure, and one friendly avocado will get you 25% to your daily intake goal.
Avocados also provide a substantial amount of lutein and b-carotene, both of which are proven to help prevent eye damage and vision loss, by acting as antioxidants.
Our Favorite Avo Recipes
Now that you know (probably more than you bargained for) what avocados have to offer, here are some suggestions for how to give the little green balls of happiness the love they deserve.
Dreamy Brownie Batter Avocado Mousse
Doesn’t dessert taste even better knowing that your body will thank you for it? Maybe? Well here’s a recipe that can prove it. Feel free to make up your own flavor combos, too. Pumpkin spice, key lime, black forest, the opportunities are endless.
- 4 ripe avocados
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Sweetener of choice (stevia, honey, pure maple syrup, etc)
Melt chocolate chips either on a double boiler or by microwaving them in a glass ramekin in 15 second intervals, stirring intermittently. Combine all other ingredients and blend in a food processor until smooth. Add melted (now slightly cooled) chocolate and blend again. Sweeten to taste. Allow mixture to cool in the refrigerator until it firms up, about 45 minutes. Serve chilled and topped with whatever your heart desires (our hearts desired dark chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cocoa powder).
One of the many lessons mom has handed down: make this for any party and be the immediate fan favorite. We’re serious. When word gets around that you have the best guacamole recipe in town, everybody wants to be your friend. The more the merrier, right? Of course, we won’t judge if you decide to keep it all to yourself.
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 large ripe avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp finely diced jalapeno (less if desired)
- 2 small tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Add avocados, lime juice, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mash to desired texture. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve immediately. Tip: if not serving immediately, place guac in an adequate container and flatten surface as much as possible. Since the browning of any fruit, avocados included, is due to the oxidation of its contents from interaction with air, cover the guacamole with a thin layer of water before storing. It will prevent the air from coming in contact, maintaining the beautiful green color. When ready to serve, either pour/spoon off the water, or simply stir it in.
Nourishing Avocado Hair Mask
Remember when we said avocado does wonders for your tresses? The nutrients (think: oils and emulsifiers to lock in moisture, vitamins and minerals to help collagen production) in these 3 ingredients come together to make a seriously nourishing goop that tackles all sorts of built-up hair damage. This mix might sound (and look) a bit questionable, but we promise your newly shiny, voluminous, and hydrated mane will thank you.
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 egg yolk
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil, depending on the dryness of your hair
Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or by hand) until smooth. Cover hair, starting at the ends and working your way up. Leave in for 30 minutes and wash hair as normal. Enjoy being mistaken for Rapunzel. Tip: this mixture is heavy and oily, but your scalp wants in on this pamper party! If you’re prone to oily hair, try simply shampooing a second time before conditioning.